Boost Education through Digital Game-based Learning!

There are times when a certain subject needs an alternative approach, or a ‘fresh set of eyes’, so to speak. Seeing and doing something in a new kind of way can help a person understand or learn better.

Education is no different. There are numerous pedagogical approaches used by educators, and one such approach is starting to pick up steam within the academic community.

Game-based learning, or the use of game applications, virtual tools and simulations for learning, is becoming more and more widespread in various regions across the world, including North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Before moving on, however, it is important to note that learning through this method is not a replacement for traditional studying. Instead, it is a form of supplement which further enhances skill sets and knowledge in a manner that’s not usually done in conventional schools and classrooms.

Is it Effective?
Education can become routine, and that in turn may lead to a dampened interest in studying for regular students. The familiar processes of reading, memorization, exams, and other conventional methods of studying are all well and good, but these get dull and aren’t enough for the students to really acquire what needs to be learned.

Entering with game-based learning is with the help of engaging and interactive applications and programs, the student will become more active and motivated to learn. Game worlds can provide environments that are familiar to the student, in turn effectively retaining his/her interest to play and eventually learn.

Games are also platforms that allow people to encounter challenges which can be applied in the real world. Problem solving, teamwork through multiplayer games, and perseverance are just a few of the abstract concepts easily grasped in game play.

Additionally, accomplishments such as completing a level for instance, gives the student a sense of optimism and self-esteem. On the other hand, failures and mistakes allow for experimentation and an ‘outside the box’ form of thinking, so as to effectively perform better next time. Alertness, concentration and task completion are few soft skills which each of the students need to practice and excel in their student life. These qualities seem to get well training by digital gaming.

One good example based on research were flight simulation programs. Consistent training improvements were observed on subjects who worked with combined simulation programs and actual aircrafts, as opposed to those who trained with an aircraft only.

Is it Sustainable?

In the field of higher education, reports suggest that the game-based learning market will have a compound annual growth rate of almost 14% from this year up to 2020. This is because game-based learning lets higher education students receive knowledge about more complex and technical matters through active and retained participation in advanced gaming programs.

In addition, the same demographic were observed to be more invested in learning about foreign languages and increase their fluency through relevant applications. They undergo learning courses in forms of games and simulations.

The ever-advancing tech the world has today also secures the place of game-based learning, especially through mobile devices. You get updates for your smartphone through your carrier or other sources, and game developers will follow the trend, never ceasing to create all sorts of gaming programs, thus, there will be no shortage of digital tools for this type of learning.

Beyond interactive whiteboards and the electronic reads that keeps the learning engaged, more on the platform of creativity and innovative thinking adds up when the children are experiencing game-based learning. So the future demands more of game creations and creating games are just not for entertainment or not just for learning but it should be created for both the purpose balanced solution to meet the objective. Once the game gets created it defines a goal or objective for the winning status and more strategies can be implemented. The brain storming concepts leads to the best creation for the best learning experience.

Lastly, it is not restricted to computer labs of schools nor advanced training facilities, as people nowadays have easy access to the internet. Therefore, online game-based learning is available to anyone. This allows for a convenient, personalized, hands-on experience for any student. All that’s needed is the desire to learn.

Jennifer Birch

AsToldByJ is a UK-based blogger who spends the day running errands for her morning job and the night reading about and blogging her thoughts on edtech, parenting and technology in general. Watch out for her own blog soon!

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